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  1. #1
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    Freak Event Nearly Ended in First Ever Crash

    It's warm here in NY so I thought it would be nice to go for a short ride. It started off badly when I went to put air in my tire, the valve snapped, all the air rushes out and I ruined the tube. Installed a new tube and managed to do the same thing. Put in a second, new tube and I managed to snap the Presta valve again. I thought what is going on here and I found out the floor pump needed some lubricant because it was not screwing securely to the Presta valves. So I wrecked three tubes. An ominous start.

    Then what really happened was a first time ever for me and is a heads up to everyone. I like to take fast turns and cut it close to parked vehicles, yet always wary of car doors opening at the wrong time. I went to make a right hand turn at speed and when I applied both brakes my front brakes would not work. I somehow managed to get my two fingers, the ring finger and the pinky finger on my left hand trapped between the brake handle and the handle bar which prevented me from applying the brake. A parked car was dead ahead so I veered to the left of it and went onto someone's front lawn before coming to a stop. When we apply our brakes we take for granted they will always work but this thing that happened to me today is a nightmare if you have a vehicle approaching you or have no clearance. It happened so fast.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sisophous View Post
    It's warm here in NY so I thought it would be nice to go for a short ride. It started off badly when I went to put air in my tire, the valve snapped, all the air rushes out and I ruined the tube. Installed a new tube and managed to do the same thing. Put in a second, new tube and I managed to snap the Presta valve again. I thought what is going on here and I found out the floor pump needed some lubricant because it was not screwing securely to the Presta valves. So I wrecked three tubes. An ominous start.

    Then what really happened was a first time ever for me and is a heads up to everyone. I like to take fast turns and cut it close to parked vehicles, yet always wary of car doors opening at the wrong time. I went to make a right hand turn at speed and when I applied both brakes my front brakes would not work. I somehow managed to get my two fingers, the ring finger and the pinky finger on my left hand trapped between the brake handle and the handle bar which prevented me from applying the brake. A parked car was dead ahead so I veered to the left of it and went onto someone's front lawn before coming to a stop. When we apply our brakes we take for granted they will always work but this thing that happened to me today is a nightmare if you have a vehicle approaching you or have no clearance. It happened so fast.
    Sure glad your okay and thank you for sharing that!

  3. #3
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    Glad you are ok. Did you forget to close the wheel release lever on the brake caliper after reinstalling the wheel? If not, you will want to get your brakes adjusted...they should engage before the lever reaches your fingers.

  4. #4
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    You didn't have the reflexes to get your fingers out of the way and onto the lever when it bottomed out? You need to work on that.

    And you wrecked 3 tubes making the same mistake?

    I'm glad you weren't hurt, but these were all your own goofs. Just sayin'

    By the way, I don't take for granted that my brakes will work. I check them when I get on the bike. If they're not right I adjust them.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    You didn't have the reflexes to get your fingers out of the way and onto the lever when it bottomed out? You need to work on that.

    And you wrecked 3 tubes making the same mistake?

    I'm glad you weren't hurt, but these were all your own goofs. Just sayin'
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

  6. #6
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    Sounds like you need to practice riding your bike before you go racing around like that.
    You put yourself in that situation.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sisophous View Post
    I like to take fast turns and cut it close to parked vehicles, yet always wary of car doors opening at the wrong time.
    I'm glad you and the bike are ok, but this is a bad practice.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sisophous View Post
    I like to take fast turns and cut it close to parked vehicles...


    Not sure I would characterize the situation you describe as "a freak accident" to be quite honest. Frankly, the only surprising thing here is the fact that you've survived long enough to have the accident yesterday.
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

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  10. #10
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    I'm glad you are OK but hopefully you learn from these responses that you put yourself in a bad situation through poor choices. Damaging more than 1 tube before figuring out there was a problem means working on your problem solving skills. Racing fast on the street cutting close to parks cars is down right dangerous. Unable to,apply your brakes with a couple of fingers under the levers is not thinking ahead for your next move and not having your equipment in proper adjustment. (My brakes engage before that much travel.) You need to work on situational awareness or you are doomed to reactionary responses which seldom save your a**.
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  11. #11
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    Your forum name would appear to be well chosen (though misspelled).








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  12. #12
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    Your avatar says it all.... check your brakes man! 3 tubes? really.
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  13. #13
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    Been riding all my life, since 93' as an adult and never had a mishap so I figured it was a freak thing. If my fingers got caught between the brake handle and bar I bet it has happened or will happen to others. Some posters here must have had a similar thing.

    I wrecked the tubes but it has been a very long time since I replaced a tube. I've added air to tubes all the time with no issue. I never heard of having to add lubricant to a Lezyne floor pump, it seemed to be fastening ok to the Presta Valve. Others with floor pumps may want to take notice.

  14. #14
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    You mean that Greek figure that had to push the boulder up the hill.

  15. #15
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    Man some of you guys are rough. As though none of you who made fun of the OP have never over looked some other detail and made the same mistake a few times. many people also assume that the OP is unsafe, slow reflexes, needs practice, based on him coming here to make a post so others can be aware and not make the same mistake.

    I am new here but I wont be sticking around if this is the general attitude people on this forum take against other members.

    OP, thanks again for the humility it took to share some of your mistakes so others can be aware and not make the same mistakes. Glad your okay.

    /ready to be flamed

  16. #16
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    Give it a little more time, Theoo, and you'll pick up the tone here a little better. Maybe you'll stay, maybe you won't, but nobody is "against" anybody here.

    What I and some others who responded were trying to do was make the discussion useful, by actually pointing out the mistakes, rather than blaming the incident on some sort of freak occurrences.

    I still don't see how one can reasonably describe the situation as having your fingers "caught" between the brake lever and the bar. They were only "caught" because the other fingers were pulling on the lever. The perfectly natural reflex is to relax the grip for a moment, free the "caught" fingers and resume braking. Oh, and it's a good idea to give your brakes a quick pull before you start, to be sure no adjustment is needed.

    Anyway, welcome to the board. Hope you stick around. It's not a bad place, generally.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post

    I still don't see how one can reasonably describe the situation as having your fingers "caught" between the brake lever and the bar. They were only "caught" because the other fingers were pulling on the lever.
    There is a first time for everything. I used to say it is impossible for me to get sea sick and then one day while on a dive boat I got so sea sick I could not move. Using the brakes is not something you give any thought to, it is a reflex. While pressing the left brake lever I simultaneously had two fingers between the brake lever and handle bar and they got trapped as I pressed on the brake. Awareness that it could happen to you may prevent a crash.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sisophous View Post
    There is a first time for everything. I used to say it is impossible for me to get sea sick and then one day while on a dive boat I got so sea sick I could not move. Using the brakes is not something you give any thought to, it is a reflex. While pressing the left brake lever I simultaneously had two fingers between the brake lever and handle bar and they got trapped as I pressed on the brake. Awareness that it could happen to you may prevent a crash.
    do you have any insights concerning putting my foot into the front wheel?
    Blows your hair back.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sisophous View Post
    There is a first time for everything. I used to say it is impossible for me to get sea sick and then one day while on a dive boat I got so sea sick I could not move. Using the brakes is not something you give any thought to, it is a reflex. While pressing the left brake lever I simultaneously had two fingers between the brake lever and handle bar and they got trapped as I pressed on the brake. Awareness that it could happen to you may prevent a crash.
    How about awareness of where your hands are in relatiion to your brake levers?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sisophous View Post
    While pressing the left brake lever I simultaneously had two fingers between the brake lever and handle bar and they got trapped as I pressed on the brake.
    What kind of brakes are these? On any of my bikes I'd have to be running with the brakes wide open to bottom out.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sisophous View Post
    ...I somehow managed to get my two fingers, the ring finger and the pinky finger on my left hand trapped between the brake handle and the handle bar which prevented me from applying the brake...
    Sorry, trying to picture HOW to accomplish this task. I frequently use two fingers on the brakes (index and middle) from either the drops or the hoods and can't see how the other two fingers could get in the way. If braking from the hoods, the unused fingers are close to the pivot and shouldn't get in the way. If braking from the drops with two fingers, hand is positioned such that in closing grip, bottom two fingers are below where the lever would come to the bar. (I use the bottom of the brake lever from the hoods, in case that isn't clear from my description. More leverage...)

    Anyway, good luck and keep it upright and rubber-side down.

  22. #22
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    I always put a little spit on my presta valve it's like everything else in life a little lube goes a long way.. Ride on

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wanderinwalker View Post
    Sorry, trying to picture HOW to accomplish this task. I frequently use two fingers on the brakes (index and middle) from either the drops or the hoods and can't see how the other two fingers could get in the way. If braking from the hoods, the unused fingers are close to the pivot and shouldn't get in the way. If braking from the drops with two fingers, hand is positioned such that in closing grip, bottom two fingers are below where the lever would come to the bar. (I use the bottom of the brake lever from the hoods, in case that isn't clear from my description. More leverage...)

    Anyway, good luck and keep it upright and rubber-side down.
    My thoughts as well. Less critical of the OP and more curious... I can see going through 2 tubes. First makes sense. Second, problem solving after the first goes wrong. Not crazy for 3, but getting there.

    Really still not sure how you would get your fingers stuck like that, but I won't judge. Crazy things happen, just glad the OP is OK . It is a good lesson to be sure everything is working right before you head out. I think others are assuming to have this happen you brakes must not be working correctly.

    It was pointed out before, but the thing that stood out the most to me is racing around corners tight to parked cars. That is a recipe for disaster. Parked cars alone are a hazard because of the unpredicatableness of them pulling out, opening a door, people coming out between them, obstruction of site line, and creating a barrier for you to escape if needed. Then you add in going around corners, which is also a hazard on its own, and that seems pretty dangerous to me.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gte105u View Post

    Really still not sure how you would get your fingers stuck like that
    I see how others are dumbfounded about what happened to me, I frankly would have been too if I came across this thread. My bike is a 2010 Trek Madone 4.5- 58cm, and it is nothing that different from other road bikes, they are all very similar.

    This is a one time occurrence in my entire life of cycling. Strange things happen from time to time. It was raining at the time and I was very tired but wanted to get out to take advantage of the mild weather.

    I attached a pic of my bike and if you look closely at the left hand brake (from a riders position) and handle bar you can see how one can get their fingers caught between the brake lever and the handle bar- curved end. I think this is a freak thing that happened but what surprises me is that no one else has yet replied to this thread and admitted to having had a similar thing happen to them. Someone here eventually will and I hope you get out of it without any damage. Also, I am stature wise average size, not small, not large.

    As someone else pointed out, my fingers were stuck because I applied the brake but did not realize at that moment my fingers were in the position they were. All I was aware of is that I was not slowing at the rate I expected.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Freak Event Nearly Ended in First Ever Crash-2010-trek-4.5-pic3.jpg  

  25. #25
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    In the OPs defense I have the finger pinch issue all the time on my SRAM bike. I never have it on my Shimano bike. You grab a handful of brakes and your fingers get pinched and you get a lot less braking than you need because your fingers are in the way. You adjust your brake cables and your good for a month or so before it happens again.

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